New contact lens bill aims to protect patients, reduce burden on doctors
September 29, 2020
Healio - The recently introduced Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act would update prescription verification requirements by prohibiting passive robocalls and changing patient notification processes.
The Federal Trade Commission’s recently updated Contact Lens Rule was criticized by industry and professional organizations, according to a press release from the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS), because, among other issues, the rule now requires eye care professionals to retain patients’ signed prescription acknowledgments.
APS Applaud the Introduction of the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act in the U.S. Senate
September 21, 2020
Invision - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) applauded the introduction of the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act by Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) in the United States Senate. Specifically, the bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), protects patient eye health by eliminating the use of robocalls to verify contact lens prescriptions. The bill also removes burdensome paperwork requirements for patients and providers, instead giving eye care practices the ability to notify patients of key rights regarding their contact lens prescriptions through methods like in-office signage that have been adopted in California. APS has long advocated for these important changes to the Contact Lens Rule, often with the support of Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
The Contact Lens Rule was originally written with the intent of increasing patient access to contact lens prescriptions while promoting patient safety. APS supports these goals of the Rule, but has voiced concern that the passive verification provision – often exploited by certain sellers through the use of robocalls – can jeopardize patients’ vision health.
Sen. Boozman Introduces Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act that Would Eliminate Robocalls for Rx Verification
September 21, 2020
Vision Monday - In an effort to offset language in the FTC’s updated Contact Lens Rule, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) last week introduced in the U.S. Senate the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act, which would eliminate the use of robocalls to verify contact lens prescriptions, according to a statement by the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS). The bill, which APS endorsed, is co-sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The FTC’s new rule for contact lenses and the corresponding requirements for ECPs is set to take effect Oct. 17.
In addition to eliminating the use of robocalls to verify CL prescriptions, the bill removes burdensome paperwork requirements for patients and providers, instead giving eyecare practices the ability to notify patients of key rights regarding their contact lens prescriptions through methods like in-office signage that have been adopted in California, according to the APS statement.
APS urges Congress to take action against updates to Contact Lens Rule
August 21, 2020
Healio News - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has requested that Congress protect patients from the Federal Trade Commission’s recent additions to the Contact Lens Rule.
The FTC posted the rule for public inspection on Aug. 14 and published it in the Federal Register on Aug. 18.
Previously, the advocacy group announced that it had partnered with members of Congress in a bipartisan effort to call for a delay of the FTC amendment, which included the use of prescription verification robocalls.
‘FTC at Odds With Congress’ Around New Contact Lens Rule
August 20, 2020
Vision Monday - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) reacted strongly this week after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to publish the new Contact Lens Rule in the Federal Register. The new CL Rule was posted for public inspection on Friday, Aug. 14 and published in the Federal Register on Monday, Aug. 17. As a result of this federal notice, the controversial changes to the CL Rule will now go into effect 60 days after the official publication date, according to APS. This would make the effective date of the requirements outlined in the new CL Rule on or about Oct. 17.
In a statement, APS said it will “urge Congress to take action to protect patients from the troubling aspects of this Rule.”
Congress members, AOA request rollback of new Contact Lens Rule additions
August 19, 2020
Healio News - Members of Congress have requested that the Federal Trade Commission roll back its recent updates to the Contact Lens Rule.
The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) advocacy group announced in a press release its support of members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate calling for the delay of the FTC amendment for the use of prescription verification robocalls. The alliance said these updates could result in patients receiving inaccurate prescriptions from what were originally recommended and fitted by their doctors.
Contact Lens Health Week raises awareness for proper wearing habits
August 14, 2020
Healio News - The CDC’s annual Contact Lens Health Week will work with the American Optometric Association and Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety to raise awareness of healthy lens practices Aug. 17 to 21.
The week will highlight various topics such as the risk associated with improper use, the importance of regular visits to an eye care provider and preventing transmission of COVID-19.
Patient safety advocates oppose updated contact lens Rx release rules
July 06, 2020
Healio News - An industry group is concerned over the Federal Trade Commission’s changes to the Contact Lens Rule that permit computer-generated phone calls to verify prescriptions and require more stringent documentation for prescription release.
The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety said in a press release that it will continue to work with Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Congressman Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-Texas) to pass the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act, or HR 3975, to protect patients.
Patient Safety Alliance Says FTC's New Contact Lens Rule Is 'Seen as Dangerous by Eye Doctors'
July 1, 2020
Vision Monday - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) on Tuesday raised concerns about the final Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Contact Lens Rule, which was issued last week, as VMAIL reported. The Alliance, in its statement, said the FTC’s final contact lens rule “fails to adequately address the dangerous practice of utilizing computer-generated voice calls to verify contact lens prescriptions and places significant burdens on doctors,” among other shortcomings cited by the Alliance for Patient Safety.
Separately, in a recent letter to ECPs, CooperVision also took issue with the FTC's updated rule, noting that it believes the FTC’s decision “leaves in place undependable robocall prescription verification techniques, adds new paperwork burdens for doctors, and addresses some concerns regarding lens substitution without closing troubling loopholes.”
Advocates issue warnings about vision testing, contact lens refills during COVID-19
May 20, 2020
Healio News - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to increase its enforcement of the federal patient safeguards related to contact lens sales in light of the fact that many optometry practices are not fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the American Optometric Association warns the public to be cautious of “at-home eye exam” or “vision test” product claims.